Motivation is at an all-time high at the beginning when you set a goal, but as the process continues to move along, reality sets in while motivation begins to dip. To help with this, you'll probably seek some sort of accountability. But, when sharing your goals with someone, it's important to share them with this specific type of person.
A high-status individual.
According to a recent study appearing in the August issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers found after conducting four unique individual studies across a variety of contexts that people showed greater goal commitment and performance when they told their goal to someone they believed had higher status than themselves.
Higher status individuals are effective due to their perceived prestige and respect.
Howard Klein, lead author of the study and professor of management and human resources at The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business, explains in the study:
"If you don't care about the opinion of whom you tell, it doesn't affect your desire to persist--which is really what goal commitment is all about. You want to be dedicated and unwilling to give up on your goal, which is more likely when you share that goal with someone you look up to."
A higher status person for you could be a family member, a close friend, a colleague, a mentor, a coach, or a personal adviser.
Besides not wanting to let someone down whom you have given higher status to, there's another huge benefit from sharing your goals with the right type of person.
You'll unlock clarity around your goal.
If you're anything like me, a big part of accomplishing goals is dealing with distractions. Specifically, the over-abundant amount of options seemingly available. We live an information-rich age where it's easy to get paralyzed with information.
In that scenario, having a particular person of higher status helps. I have a good friend who serves this role with me.
I'm one who often lives in the clouds, mainly focusing on the big picture and encompassing vision. However, I tend to struggle with chunking goals down into manageable pieces, creating important constraints, and executing on a day-to-day basis.
Therefore, my higher status friend helps me with crafting 90-day game plans that ultimately serve my big picture but also keep me accountable on a daily basis for consistent execution.
When you speak your goals and difficulties out loud to someone you trust, you'll often gain clarity and sharpen your thought process because they can see angles blind to you.
Adding this person to your life to keep you accountable doesn't have to be difficult. The process ultimately comes down to whether they are capable of handling the task and, most importantly, if you care about their opinion.